Lama Harkan, Ph.D., 2019

Creative Networks: Toward Mapping Creativity in a Design Classroom

2019 — This study developed new mapping techniques and methodologies for understanding creativity in terms of connectivity and interaction between human and non-human actors in a design classroom. The researcher applied qualitative methods of data collection combining both observations of classroom activities and focus group interviews in order to map a creativity network. The findings indicate that creativity is a complex weather-like system or, what I call “creative climate,” composed of many sub-networks and diffused networks.

Four interactions emerged from the study:

(1) the creative climate is composed of the circulation of bodies and objects forming networks and sub-networks,
(2) centers and corners/edges are a measure of connectivity and interaction in classroom space design,
(3) roundness is a measure of classroom style and the space of connectivity usage, and
(4) plugs-in creativity is a measure of technology consolidation.

This study attempted to fill the gap in the literature on creativity and classroom design by explaining the role of non-human actors in shaping the creative climate in the classroom, especially the role of the classroom space itself as an actor. The implication of this study in art education opens a new opportunity for research in designing innovative classrooms. Also, it will allow future investigation of the phenomenon of creativity as a climate system based on the interaction between human and non-human actors.